Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the situation in Turkey is under control and that the attempted military takeover has been thwarted. While some reports indicate that there are lingering pockets of unrest, the dust seems to have settled after the explosions and gunfire that rocked Istanbul and Ankara overnight. Hundreds are dead; the latest figure is 265 killed among both the military personnel involved in the coup and the police and civilians who fought it.
Erdogan’s creeping authoritarianism has made him increasingly unpopular among many Turks, but journalist Mustafa Edib Yilmaz says the public response to the coup attempt suggested little support for an undemocratic alternative.
Here’s how it all went down:
Friday 7:30 PM, Turkish time
— Reports emerge on social media that the two bridges over the Bosphorus in Istanbul that link the Asian and European sides of the country were closed.
— Reports that fighter jets are buzzing the capital Ankara, Helicopters are seen over Istanbul, and there are reports of gunfire.
— Rumors of a severe terrorist threat or a coup begin to swirl on social media. Some speculate that Erdogan has been killed.
— Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says there is «unsanctioned» military activity underway, and urges calm. He says a small group of soldiers in Turkey’s military is attempting to overthrow the government, and that extra security has been called in to neutralize the threat.
— Pro-coup soldiers issue a statement saying they have taken power to «protect democratic order and to maintain human rights.» The coup plotters also promise to maintain all of Turkey’s existing foreign obligations.
-CNN Turk reports that Erdogan is safe.
— Coup plotters take hostages at military headquarters in Ankara, including the chief of military staff.
— Internet monitors confirm rumors that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media have been restricted. It isn’t clear who ordered the block, but Erdogan’s government has used social media blackouts in the past during periods of uncertainty.
— Journalists and other social media users say they are using VPNs to get around the block.
— Pro-coup soldiers enter the building of state broadcaster TRT and order news anchors to read their statement on air: The coup is because Erdogan’s government had eroded democratic and secular rule of law, and requests that a new constitution be drawn up. The anchor would later say she was ordered to read at gunpoint.
— From the seaside resort where he is on vacation, Erdogan assures Turks that the situation is under control, and does so via Facetime, broadcast on CNN Turk. He urges civilians to take to the streets to protest the coup. «We will overcome this,» he says. The Turkish PM says everything will be done to thwart coup efforts, even if that means fatalities.
— TRT goes dark but starts broadcasting again later from London.
A military helicopter apparently opens fire in Ankara. Reports of an explosion.
— The Turkish justice minister alleges that the exiled US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen is behind the attempted coup. (Gulen has denied any link, while Erdogan is maintaining his involvement.)
— Tanks surround the Turkish parliament building in Ankara and open fire. Gunfire heard at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.
Two more explosions heard in Ankara’s center.
— A Turkish fighter jet shoots down a military helicopter used by pro-coup soldiers over Ankara, according to state broadcaster NTV.
— State-run Anadolu Agency says 17 police killed at Ankara special forces HQ.
— An explosion hits parliament in Ankara. Reuters cites an eyewitness who says there was an explosion in Istanbul.
-Turkish PM declares a no-fly zone over Ankara.
— Erdogan, who has left the seaside resort on the Mediterranean where he was staying, lands in Istanbul, where pro-government crowds have taken over the airport.
— Two more explosions hit parliament. Lawmakers are reportedly sheltering in the parliament building.
— Around 30 pro-coup soldiers surrender weapons after being surrounded by police in Istanbul.
— CNN Turk stops live broadcast because soldiers entered the control room.
— Erdogan leaves airport, is greeted by crowds of his supporters. He says coup attempt was an act of treason.
— Erdogan appears among supporters again, and urges civilians to remain on the streets until the situation normalizes
— Jet drops bomb near presidential palace in Ankara.
— CNN Turk live footage shows pro-coup soldiers surrender on Bosphorus bridge with their hands above their heads. The government says more than 700 people have been arrested and the coup attempt has failed.
— Erdogan supporters attack surrendering soldiers. Police intervene.
— Turkey’s military HQ recaptured by pro-government forces, but some groups of rebel soldiers are still resisting and control military helicopters.
— Turkey’s EU minister Omer Celik says coup situation «90 percent under control» but some commanders are still being held hostage.